MLB Rumors: 4 teams that desperately need Matt Chapman with Bellinger signed

Cody Bellinger is officially sticking with the Chicago Cubs, which puts Matt Chapman's free agency on center stage.

Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays
Matt Chapman, Toronto Blue Jays / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs officially agreed to terms with Cody Bellinger on a three-year, $80 million contract over the weekend. That takes arguably the biggest fish remaining out of the free agent pond and shines an even harsher spotlight on the Scott Boras clients who are still left unsigned.

As far as position players go, Matt Chapman is the new golden goose. He is the No. 1 free agent on the board, and several teams should come knocking as spring training begins to slowly dwindle. We're about a month away from Opening Day, folks. There's only so much time left for players to sign a contract and get acclimated with (potentially) new surroundings.

Chapman struggled relative to expectations at the plate last season, slashing .240/.330/.424 with 17 home runs and 54 RBI in 504 AB. That said, he also won his fourth Gold Glove award at the hot corner and posted a hard-hit rate (56.4) in the MLB's 100th percentile. There is every reason to believe Chapman can impact winning both offensively and defensively for his next team.

The expectation is that Chapman, 31, will seek more long-term security than Bellinger, 28, due to their respective ages. That said, a five or six-year deal for the talented third baseman is well within the realm of reason.

Here are the teams that should be eagerly hammering Scott Boras' phone line after the Bellinger news.

4. Matt Chapman can help Brewers keep up with Cubs

It has been a fairly disappointing offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers. Aside from the Rhys Hoskins addition, it has been a constant stream of loss — culminating with the Corbin Burnes trade a couple weeks ago. The Brewers' bullpen is gutted at the top and Craig Counsell is no longer around to gracefully fit mismatched pieces together. He's in Chicago, as it so happens.

Milwaukee won the NL Central last season and that outcome is still very much within reach, but the Bellinger news does cement the Cubs as tentative favorites. Chicago was already pushing hard last season. Counsell will undoubtedly make a difference, while the additions to the Cubs pitching staff are easy to get excited about. Shota Imanaga is a relative unknown to American fans, but his vicious off-speed arsenal should help Chicago forget all about Marcus Stroman.

The Brewers cleared out a bit of cap space with the Burnes trade. While the front office is not expected to turn around and burn that money on a high-profile free agent, there is every incentive — at least on the baseball field — for the Brewers to operate aggressively. Chapman would boost the middle of the lineup and give the Brewers a truly special glove in the corner infield.

Right now, rookie Joey Ortiz is expected to hold down the fort at third. Ortiz was the centerpiece of the Burnes trade, and it's clear the 25-year-old is considered a foundational piece of the Brewers' future. That said, Ortiz has experience at second and first base too, so the Brewers can figure out another defensive arrangement while still investing in Ortiz's own defensive talents and excellent contact hitting.